WD Poetic Form Challenge: Trimeric

With the 2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge set to start tomorrow, let’s open up one more WD Poetic Form Challenge–this time for the trimeric!

Find the rules for writing trimerics here. It’s a fun poem with refrains and a lot of freedom from rhymes and counting syllables.

So start writing them and sharing here on the blog (this specific post) for a chance to be published in Writer’s Digest magazine–as part of the Poetic Asides column. (Note: You have to log in to the site to post comments/poems; creating an account is free.)

Here’s how the challenge works:

  • Challenge is free. No entry fee.
  • The winner (and sometimes a runner-up or two) will be featured in a future edition of Writer’s Digest magazine as part of the Poetic Asides column.
  • Deadline 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time) on November 30, 2016.
  • Poets can enter as many trimerics as they wish. The more “work” you make for me the better, but remember: I’m judging on quality, not quantity.
  • All poems should be previously unpublished. If you have a specific question about your specific situation, just send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwcommunity.com. Or just write a new trimeric. They’re fun to write; I promise.
  • I will only consider trimerics shared in the comments below. It gets too confusing for me to check other posts, go to other blogs, etc.
  • Speaking of posting, if this is your first time, your comment may not appear immediately. However, it should appear within a day (or 3–if shared on the weekend). So just hang tight, and it should appear eventually. If not, send me an e-mail at the address above.
  • Please include your name as you would like it to appear in print. If you don’t, I’ll be forced to use your user/screen name, which might be something like HaikuPrincess007 or MrLineBreaker. WD has a healthy circulation, so make it easy for me to get your byline correct.
  • Finally–and most importantly–be sure to have fun!


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In addition to the listings, there are articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry–so that poets can learn the ins and outs of writing poetry and seeking publication. Plus, it includes a one-year subscription to the poetry-related information on WritersMarket.com. All in all, it’s the best resource for poets looking to secure publication.

Click to continue.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which means he maintains this blog, edits a couple Market Books (Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market), writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine, leads online education, speaks around the country on publishing and poetry, and a lot of other fun writing-related stuff. He’s also the author of the poetry collection Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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94 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: Trimeric

  1. Jane Shlensky


    Change unchanging blows his mind.
    How can the earth be so designed?
    He has no plans to change one thing,
    and that’s why he is single.

    How can the earth be so designed
    to turn forever, push and pull,
    the same but never quite the same?

    He has no plans to change one thing
    about himself; he’s perfect as he is,
    his Mama’s said ten thousand times,

    and that’s why he is single,
    waiting for some gorgeous woman
    who needs a changeless man.

  2. Jane Shlensky

    Old Time’s Sake

    He braids his growing daughter’s hair.
    His hands remember sitting close,
    her silky curls around his fingers.
    Her eyes sparkle, tugged from the mirror.

    His hands remember sitting close,
    her eyes alight, but now she pouts.
    “I’m not a baby anymore!”

    Her silky curls around his fingers,
    like the ribbons she once loved,
    open an ache inside him.

    Her eyes sparkle, tugged from the mirror,
    imagining the boys who wave and smile.
    Her dad cannot stop time, but he can try.

  3. Jane Shlensky

    Seasons of Giving

    “Give a feller a hand, would ye?”
    he says, sitting on the steps,
    old joints creaking like rusty screen doors,
    his beat-up guitar leaned on his knees.

    He says sitting on the steps
    lets him see all his people stepping by,
    even when they won’t meet his eye.

    Old joints creaking like rusty screen doors
    are his badges of honor, like that old man
    who tilts at windmills in tarnished armor,

    his beat-up guitar leaned on his knees
    like a shield, crazy as hell, but sincere.
    A little riff and passers-by applaud, drop coins.

  4. JayGee2711

    One Bird

    One bird is worth
    many hands making
    light of the grey skies
    before breakfast

    many hands making
    skies shaped from the dreams
    of where sleeping clocks lie

    light of the grey skies
    morning unfolding like feathers
    from the last dark hour

    before breakfast
    while one bird warms her feathers by
    the grey light of last night’s dreams.

    Julie Germain

  5. Jane Shlensky

    Time as High Speed Photography

    The photo album tells time’s tale:
    snapshots of life go sprinting by.
    Tic toc, he goes from babe to youth,
    then married middle-aged and old.

    Snapshots of life go sprinting by.
    He squints, a child with crooked smile,
    then lanky growth. He blinks and sighs.

    Tic toc, he goes from babe to youth,
    laughing and bright, happy. Does he
    see signs of the man he will be?

    Then married, middle-aged, and old,
    the hair, the heart, the eyes shift back
    where shots of moments pile in drifts.

  6. Jane Shlensky


    When you get to Sunders Crossing,
    take a right to find the mill
    down that slice of the New River
    where the rocks jut, big and still.

    Take a right to find the mill
    that’s weathered gray as winter skies,
    but the wheel still turns at flood time

    down that slice of the New River,
    where the current pulls things under
    and tired froth floats near the shore

    where the rocks jut, big and still,
    like the shoulders of a mourning man
    hunched and weeping, waiting for you.

  7. Jane Shlensky

    Thanks for another great form and fun taking it for a ride, Robert.

    Just You Wait

    When I am young and whole again,
    when winter’s gone and spring is nigh,
    when all the scars begin to fade,
    I’ll come for you. We’ll be brand new.

    When winter’s gone and spring is nigh,
    cold patchy snow won’t stop the bloom
    of crocuses and daffodils.

    When all the scars begin to fade,
    I’ll slough off aches and dance
    to my own melody with you.

    I’ll come for you. We’ll be brand new.
    My, how we’ll laugh and love and sing.
    Our wings we will fling upward as we soar.

  8. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    A Prayer for Bad Weather

    It rumbles again,
    thundering –
    the air out there,
    the malevolent sky.

    please make rain
    for my unsoaked flowers.

    The air out there
    is hot and heavy.
    Yesterday I rain-danced.

    The malevolent sky
    released two tiny, stinging drops,
    no more. Oh, stop teasing!


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